London Olympic Games 2012

Monday, April 16, 2012

Serena Williams wins Family Circle Cup title

Serena Williams wins Family Circle Cup title

Charleston: Serena Williams capped a dominant week with another powerful performance to beat Lucie Safarova 6-0, 6-1 and capture her first clay-court tournament in four years at the Family Circle Cup on Sunday.

Williams didn't drop a set in five matches this week and lost only three games over the weekend, dispatching Samantha Stosur, 6-1, 6-1 in the semifinals before ousting Safarova. She hadn't won a tournament on clay — or even gotten to a final on the surface — since taking the 2008 championship here.

Williams has said throughout the week how comfortable she felt in her short time on clay this year. That showed against the 25-year-old Safarova, ranked 26th in the world.

Williams served a 107-mph ace on match point, shrieking in joy and waving to the crowd.
Williams came into the week off a trip to the quarter-finals at the Sony Ericsson Open and had just a day or so to get in any work on the slower clay at the Family Circle Tennis Center. She looked rusty in her opening match, a 6-3, 6-4 victory over Elena Vesnina on Tuesday.
But Williams came back in her next match with a strong attitude and a much sharper game. She took out Marina Erakovic 6-2, 6-2 and was in control early in her quarterfinals win over Sabine Lisicki, who retired after twisting her left ankle.
Williams was at her best, though, on the weekend.
She didn't give Stosur, the reigning US Open champion, room to breathe in the semi-finals. Williams concluded the clay-court run with her win over Safarova.
How dominant was Williams' serve? She was not broken in 24 service games over her last four matches.
"She was amazing," said Safarova, who fell to 0-5 against Williams. "She deserves to be the champion."
And Williams may be prepared to win even more this clay-court season.
She's not scheduled to play again until next month in Madrid, then at the Italian Open before moving on the Paris for the year's second Grand Slam, the French Open.
Williams has talked frequently this week of her desire to add another title at Roland Garros — she won her only French crown in 2002 — to her Hall-of-Fame resume of 13 major championships. She also talked about moving to Paris.
The Family Circle Cup victory was a great start to her clay-court season.
Williams also was happy to honor the 40th anniversary of the Family Circle tournament and the legacy of women's tennis. The tournament named its stadium court for tennis great and pioneer Billie Jean King, who was on court during Williams' trophy ceremony.
King and members of the Original 9 players, who defied the tennis establishment to form the first women's tour and fight for better prize money, were saluted during the weekend
Williams earned $115,000 for the victory, a far cry from the first Family Circle in 1973 that offered a then-unheard of $100,000 in total prize money.
"I want to thank, Billie," Williams said. "Without her, I don't know if any of us would be here."

Serena Williams wins Family Circle Cup titleSocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

Serena routs Stosur, reaches Family Circle final

Serena routs Stosur, reaches Family Circle final

CHARLESTON, South Carolina (AP) – Serena Williams even impressed herself with her powerful showing at the Family Circle Cup on Saturday, beating Sam Stosur 6-1, 6-1 to advance to the final.

Williams needed less than an hour to dispatch the second-seeded Australian — the woman who beat her in last year's U.S. Open final — and progress to the decider of this clay-court tournament.
"It was just one of those days that I could have done anything against anybody," Williams said.
MORE: WTA's Original 9 reunite
The 10th-ranked player was on her game from the start, winning the match's first eight points and rarely letting Stosur catch a breath.

On Sunday, Williams will face Lucie Safarova, who had an even more lopsided victory, dispatching Polona Hercog 6-0, 6-0.
Stosur held serve to cut Williams' lead to 2-1, then lost the next nine games.

Williams hit a forehand winner to end the match moments later, and eliminated Stosur from a tournament for the second straight week. Williams beat Stosur 7-5, 6-3 last week at the Sony Ericsson Open, serving 20 aces — tying per personal best — in the hard-court win.

Williams only had seven aces in this one, but was in command of nearly every shot she hit.
"I have to say this is probably the best match I've played in my career, either in a long time or it's up there in the top five," Williams said.

Safarova has lost all four times she's played Williams. The 25-year-old from the Czech Republic watched the opening semifinal and said she'll have a plan to slow down Williams' attack. After all, Safarova didn't lose a game in her semi, something she joked about with Serena.

"'Yeah, I got you,'" Safarova told Williams when they saw each other after the match.
If Williams matches her Saturday effort in the finals, Safarova will have her hands full. "It's a great challenge. She's a great player," Safarova said, "and you see what she's done today."

Stosur, the 28-year-old ranked fifth, combines a powerful serve with the fitness to chase down about any shot. She rallied on Friday to defeat Serena's older sister, Venus, and was seeking to become just the eighth player to beat both Williams sisters in the same tournament.
Serena quickly made sure that didn't happen.

"She was way too good today," Stosur said. "She was pretty happy with the way she played."
The hole in Williams' Hall-of-Fame resume is clearly on clay. She owns 13 Grand Slam titles, but just one coming at the French Open. Williams beat sister Venus in 2002 for the championship at Roland Garros. Serena reached the semifinals there the next year and has not made it past the quarterfinals in five appearances since.

Williams believes she's sliding better than she has in recent years and excited about her prospects on the surface this year.
"I'm trying to play like this at the end of the clay-court season," she said. "So we'll see."
Serena routs Stosur, reaches Family Circle finalSocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

Latest Blog Update

    follow me on Twitter